20 September 2022
Integrating a gender perspective in preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE) is critical to ensuring security responses are effective and sustainable. On the margins of the Twentieth GCTF Coordinating Committee Meeting in New York, the Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Working Group Co-Chairs, Australia and Indonesia, held a side event that highlighted and promoted the GCTF Gender and P/CVE Policy Toolkit and contributed to a better understanding of of good practices in mainstreaming gender responses in CT and P/CVE policies and programs.
Gender Norms and Terrorist Organizations
Terrorist organizations exploit gender norms and stereotypes to support recruitment, financing, and operational strategies. This means that understanding the impact of gender on extremist movements is critical to finding effective and sustainable responses. The UN Security Council has emphasized the need for measures to address violent extremism, stem the flow of foreign terrorist fighters, and consider women and girls in counterterrorism activities. Too often women and girls are seen as only victims, without an understanding that they have varied and dynamic roles in violent extremist and terrorist groups, including as recruiters, perpetrators, battalion leaders as well as peacebuilders. Crucially, gender cannot be conflated with women. Violent extremists and terrorists expertly manipulate and exploit gendered realities for example, in using narratives of hyper masculinity, glorifying violence, and reinforcing masculine stereotypes. P/CVE strategies are more effective when they recognize both the influence of gender norms, as well as the roles they play — for example in recruitment or in active participation — in violent extremism.
The GCTF Gender and P/CVE Policy Toolkit
The Toolkit is the result of a three-year Initiative led by the CVE Working Group for which the Global Center on Cooperative Security served as the GCTF Implementing Partner. It provides practitioners and policymakers with relevant frameworks, good practices, and resources for designing, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating gender responsive P/CVE policies and programs. The Toolkit will also complement and support the Gender and Identities Platform for Countering Violent Extremism and Counterterrorism.
The event brought together subject matter experts, policymakers and practitioners who are responsible for designing, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating rights-based, gender-responsive policies and programming in the field of counterterrorism and P/CVE.